contain yourself

You don’t always need special tools and gadgets to help contain your drawers! They can help, but so can a few basic steps. Think of organizing your drawers (sort of) the same way you would as hosting guests: plan, clean, and work with the space you have available!

Tip 1 – Take Inventory

Drawers get filled fast, so the best way to keep them clutter-free is to maintain them. Whether you’re working on an underwear drawer, one in the bathroom or the junk drawer, take inventory. Go through your drawers and see what you’ve got. There are sure to be a few things past their prime or unfit for use. Determine what to keep, dispose of, or donate (depending on your drawer). Don’t forget to wipe down your drawers when you’re in the “inventory process.” They tend to get gunky!

Tip 2 – The Great Divide

If you have small items that always seem to wander to the back of the drawer where you can’t find them when you need them, consider storage help like baggies, dividers or even envelopes. Think of things you already have at home that you could use, like an ice cube tray to stash paperclips or matchbooks. Stick stamps and labels in a marked envelope within reach. Wrap several pens or pencils with a rubber band to keep them in one spot. If plastic takeout containers with lids somehow creep into your kitchen, reuse them as holders for smaller items – think twice (or three times) before you toss them!

Tip 3 – Prioritize

Keep your most often-used stuff as top priority. If you’re always looking for something to use to open sealed bags in your kitchen, put your scissors in a top drawer in your kitchen. Do you write important notes on scraps of paper around your work area, only to lose them? Have a pad of paper and a pen or pencil within reach in the top drawer of your desk. You’ll find that after repeated use, you’ll know what’s within reach so you’re not scrambling when you need something. Items that fall to levels of less importance can take a cue: store them in lower drawers or those that are a bit more out of reach.

Tip 4 – The Right Place

Only store what you need in your drawers. Do you have a tendency to shove your mail in a drawer to deal with it later? Consider moving your mail to a flat surface where you can keep an eye on things. Of course you’ll still want to keep things organized, so find a holder that is divided or sectioned as needed. Sort by junk mail, bills and coupons. You can decide what to do with each later, but they’ll have an organized holding spot until you’re ready. You’ll likely deal with it sooner than later since you can see it!

Same goes for things like seasonal clothes. If you’re constantly shoving sweaters and t-shirts into the same drawers, consider swapping your clothes on a seasonal basis. Invest in a few flat containers that you can keep tucked away under your bed or on a closet shelf. When the summer rolls around, move the tees and tanks to the drawer and stow the sweaters under your bed.

Tip 5 – Cabinets Count

If you’ve got cabinets that you treat like drawers (think bathroom cabinet), follow the same organizational tips. Take a look at what you’ve got, ditch expired medicine and sunscreen or the things you’ll never use again (that lipstick that was not your color), clean out the surface area, and move the things you use often (toothpaste) to the area of prime real estate. Put small items like hair clips and bands in a baggie, and all in one location, to keep them contained, yet handy.

Getting organized doesn’t have to be difficult. All it takes is a bit of time and a little thought. Think of how much less stressed you’ll feel when you can find what you need right away, and all your things have a spot of their own!

image: bccnyc